Firework Laws

Firework vendors in the Waco area are at odds with law enforcement. Officers are staking out firework stands and ticketing customers who bring illegal fireworks into town. Municipal firework laws are pretty universal around the state according to Nacogdoches Fire Marshal Terry Westmoreland. "You cannot discharge, you cannot purchase, you cannot even possess fireworks inside the city limits of Nacogdoches."

What's different is how the laws are enforced. On the edge of town firework vendor Aaron Newsom is glad his customers aren't intimidated by random searches. "I think some people would see the fire marshal sitting here or a police officer sitting there and [thinking], 'Well, I don't know if I should go buy firecrackers because I don't want to get in trouble. I don't want to get a ticket, anything like that, so I don't know if it's worth it.'"

Instead of firework stings, local authorities encourage responsible firework storage and usage. Westmoreland knows, "People have been very conscience. They understand what can happen, so it's a lot easier for us to enforce up to a level that deters and that's it."

Firework vendors are more than willing to post restrictions on banned fireworks because of the high fire danger. In Nacogdoches County bottle rockets and fireworks with fins are now sold. Newsom provides other suggestions.   "We do have many choices. We have artillery shells which are very popular still and we still have many things that still go up in the air and they can shoot off, grand finale, that kind of stuff."

But transport them at your own risk advised Westmoreland. "Buy them on the way out to where you're going to shoot them. Don't bring them back in."

There are public firework displays in both Nacogdoches and Lufkin on July 4th. In Nacogdoches the Brookshire Brother's Freedom Fest takes place on the square from 5 - 9:30. There will be food, children's activities, live entertainment and fireworks. In Lufkin there will be fun activities at the zoo from 2-9 with fireworks following. Free shuttles are available at the high school. Love and Wills Law Firm is sponsoring the event.